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IU Northwest forum to discuss immigration reform April 10

‘Shattering of Silences’ annual symposium aims to increase tolerance, tackle sensitive issues

Tuesday Apr 02, 2013

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs (ODEMA) at Indiana University Northwest invites the campus and community to join a discussion about immigration reform at the campus’s “Shattering of Silences” discussion forum, scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 10 in the Bruce W. Bergland Auditorium, located in the Savannah Center.

The free discussion will address the complex issue of immigration reform and its implications for the nation. It is widely believed that the growth of the Latino community continues to outpace that of any other ethnic group in this country, thus this group will be a major target group for focus.

The discussion will center largely on the economic, social, cultural, legal, educational and political impact of this issue.

To ensure a lively discussion, a cross-section of interested stakeholders have been invited to not only share information on the current situation from their perspective, but also to discuss some current legislation that is being considered, and provide the audience with enough information to develop a clearer understanding of the issue.

Mike Gonzalez, radio host of Steel Shores on WLTH radio, will moderate the discussion. Invited panelists include:

-       Bernard Carter, Lake County Indiana Prosecutor

-       Sharla Williams, Indiana Work One Regional Manager

-       Tony Barreda, Chair of the Coalition for Immigrants and President of the Union Benefica Mexicana

-       Raoul Contreras, Ph.D., IU Northwest Minority Studies Department

-       Sophia Olazaba and Joel Perez (IU Northwest students)

Light refreshments will be served following the event. ODEMA sponsors a “Shattering the Silences” event once each semester, and the programs are designed to identify topics about sensitive issues and provide a forum where the topic can be discussed in a provocative but objective and intelligent manner. 

The Bruce W. Bergland Auditorium is located in the Savannah Center on the southeast corner of the main campus parking lot at 33rd Avenue and Broadway in Gary.

For more information, contact Phyllis Barlow at (219) 980-6596 or

For information about parking policies at IU Northwest, including a new process for temporary permits, visit


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As one of seven Indiana University campuses, IU Northwest leads the region as the premier, urban campus dedicated to serving the needs of more than 6,000 students from the state’s most diverse and industrialized region. Committed to helping its local Northwest Indiana communities thrive, IU Northwest is best-known for providing a personal, quality and affordable education close to home.  IU Northwest positions its students to be leaders with more than 70 undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional degree options available from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services, the School of Business and Economics, and the School of Education. The campus is also host to IU School of Medicine-Northwest, which actively involves students in research and local healthcare needs through its four-year medical doctorate program. For more information, please visit

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